Tests of Big Bang Cosmology
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Interactive Periodic Table - With Spectral Lines

Tests of Big Bang Cosmology

  The Big Bang Model is supported by a number of important        
  observations, each of which are described in more detail
  on separate pages:

  1. The expansion of the universe

  Edwin Hubble's 1929 observation that galaxies were generally
  receding from us provided the first clue that the Big Bang
  theory might be right.

  2. The abundance of the light elements H, He, Li

  The Big Bang theory predicts that these light elements should
  have been fused from protons and neutrons in the first few
  minutes after the Big Bang.

  In 1948, Physicist George Gamow hypothesized that all of the
  elements might have been made in the hot and dense early
  universe. He suggested to his student, Ralph Alpher, that he
  calculate this. Alpher did so for his PhD thesis, with Robert
  Herman participating in much of the work. Alpher and Herman
  found that Gamow was wrong: most elements could not have been
  made in the early universe. The problem is with neutron
  capture. Neutrons decay in about 10 minutes, and their
  density decreases as the universe expands in that time. There
  just isn't enough time to keep building up to the heavier
  elements before the neutrons are gone. The heavy elements are
  made later, in stars. Only the lightest elements are built up
  in the early universe. The important prediction that the
  cosmic microwave background (CMB) exists, and has a blackbody
  spectrum with a temperature of about 5 degrees above absolute
  zero, was a by-product of this work.


Fundamental Particle and Interactions

  Newer Charts

  Older Charts

Comparison of Solar Nucleosysthesis and Big Bang Neucleosysnthesis

Solar Nucleosynthesis -- proton-proton chain

  pp   p + p --> H2 + e+ + v_e 100 q < 0.420 MeV
  pep  p + e- + p --> H2 + v_e 0.4 q = 1.442 MeV
  hep  He3 + p --> He4 + v_e 0.00002 q < 18.773 MeV
  Be7  Be7 + e- --> Li7 + v_e 15 q = 0.862 MeV 89.7%, q = 0.384 MeV 10.3%
  B8   B8 --> Be7 + e+ + v_e 0.02 q < 15 MeV

Relevant papers by John N. Bahcall, Sarbani Basu, M. H. Pinsonneault:

Book Recommendation - The First Three Minutes by Steve Weinberg

Big Bang Nucleosysnthesis

  It is hoped that someday we will detect Big Bang neutrinos!

  3. The cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation

  The early universe should have been very hot. The cosmic
  microwave background radiation is the remnant heat leftover
  from the Big Bang.

  These three measurable signatures strongly support the notion
  that the universe evolved from a dense, nearly featureless
  hot gas, just as the Big Bang model predicts.

The Evidence For The Big Bang In 10 Little Minutes